Spektral Quartet: Comic Cadences – Tickets – Constellation – Chicago, IL – May 30th, 2015
Spektral Quartet: Comic Cadences

Spektral Quartet: Comic Cadences

Sat, May 30, 2015

8:00 pm


Chicago, IL


This event is 18 and over

Spektral Quartet: Comic Cadences
Spektral Quartet: Comic Cadences
Richard Pryor, George Carlin, and Dave Chappelle walk into a classical music concert...

Well, they heckle their way into a piece at a classical music concert, anyway. The unexpected mashup of string quartet and comedy is the motivation behind Comic Cadences, the Spektral Quartet’s Chicago season closer at Constellation. As the point of departure for this project, Chris Fisher-Lochhead’s Hack is a compositional venture that is astonishing in scope...and nerve. For this commission, the Chicago composer meticulously transcribed the rhythm, pitch, and cadence of bits from comedians like Pryor, Carlin, Chappelle, Sarah Silverman, Lenny Bruce, Rodney Dangerfield, Tig Notaro and many others, using this complex sonic information as the basis to create this inventive, multi-movement work. (To hear an early proof-of-concept featuring comedian Richard Lewis, click here). It is a world premiere unlike anything the quartet has ever attempted, and a peek behind the smoke-stained curtain of what beyond words makes a joke level a crowd.

The cheeky glissandi in the Scherzo movement of Josef Haydn’s String Quartet Op. 33 No. 2 “The Joke” shift past 18th century harmonic witticisms and into something just shy of buffoonery, surrounded as the section is by elegance and poise. Bridging the divide between Haydn and the final piece of the program, Sky Macklay’s Many Many Cadences adopts the comic device of repetition, but at a register and pace that sets the composer as Road Runner and the quartet as the misanthropic Wile E. Coyote. Phrases begin at the uppermost reaches of each instrument, with absurdly fast tonal cadences comprising the entirety of the musical material, careening down the page before leaping back into the stratosphere.

Humor has played an essential role in Spektral Quartet’s concert banter and social media presence since its inception, but for the final installment of its 2014/15 Chicago season, the group brings comedy center stage.

Sky Macklay - Many Many Cadences (2014)
Joseph Haydn - String Quartet Op. 33, No. 2 in E-flat “The Joke” (1781)
Chris Fisher-Lochhead - Hack (2015)

Venue Information:
3111 N. Western
Chicago, IL, 60618